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How I Got Into Wargaming

By Kate Fitz

Hey guys! I’m Kate — well, the other Kate. I’m the lead of merchandising for AYBOnline.com. I’ve seen a lot of guys try to get their girlfriends — or just friends that are girls — into tabletop wargaming. Mostly Warhammer 40K. My boyfriend did the same thing. It’s nice when your partner likes the same game as you, then you can Warhammer or X-Wing and chill instead of Netflix and chill. Trust me, it’s far more fun that way.

Here’s the story of how he got me into wargaming.

When he got me into Warhammer 40K, he sat me down with the books and we looked at all the different armies to see which one I liked the most. I was stuck between two Daemon armies; Slaanesh, and Nurgle. In the end, I’m a bit of a horror-movie freak, so I leaned more toward Nurgle. They are all gory and bloody, and I loved it!

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In the beginning, I would play a few small games with him and his models but I wasn’t hooked yet… all I wanted to see was my models that I chose and be able to kick his ass! So I got some of my first models, and it was fun putting them together and picking paints to make them look the way that I wanted them to look. But then I ended up realizing… holy crap, this is a lot of work!

All I wanted to do was learn the game and be able to play, but I failed to recognize the other positive aspects of the game. You get to purchase small parts of your army one at a time, so it’s more affordable, and that one box of six to ten models will give you hours of entertainment. You get to sit down and glue these guys together, then paint them up the way you want them to look.

But I never really appreciated that ’til later on, and after losing my inspiration to complete my models, they are still sitting there on the shelf, a year later, half-finished. I still wasn’t completely convinced on tabletop wargaming.

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One day, my boyfriend tells me that a friend is getting into a game called X-Wing Miniatures by Fantasy Flight Games. (Conveniently, right after the new Star Wars movie came out. Which was awesome, by the way.) He picked up a Starter Set and we played a few games… wow! I loved it! It took two or three small games to fully grasp the rules, but WOW!

X-Wing Miniatures is what got me hooked into tabletop wargaming. It was more straightforward and simple to understand than Warhammer 40K. So for any of you guys or gals out there who don’t know what X-Wing is… get the hell out Just kidding! Stay! Listen up and I’ll tell ya!

You buy a Starter Set, which comes with six dice (three green, three red), a long line-of-sight measuring stick, asteroids, movement dials for each model, tokens, a set of movement measuring sticks, a 24-page rulebook, and the piece de resistance — two TIE Fighter models, and an X-Wing model. Everything you need to try out this game, no assembly or painting required. “Wait, what? I can buy the game and play it right away?!” YES, YOU CAN!

So you face off against a friend. One person gets the X-Wing, and one person gets the two TIE Fighters. Open the book, follow the rules. Play your first game with just the rules for movement, shields, and lasers. (Then kill the TIE Fighters… ’cause, well… GO REBELS!) Then play your second game and add in your tokens like evades and focus, the damage cards, critical hits, and how far you can shoot. Once you beat the Imperials again, add in the last few remaining rules like the upgrade cards and what they can do, the bonuses to attack and defense for different weapon ranges, and the asteroids. And after that, you’re ready to sign up for a tournament and kick even more Imperial ass!

Now that you’re instantly addicted to this game — obviously, right? — you can start to build your own squadron. Pick your favorite faction; the Rebel Alliance, the Imperials… or Scum and Villainy, I guess… and then slowly purchase other models to make it more fun. If you like Rebels like me, Corran Horn is a personal favourite for wiping those Imperial fools off the table every time!

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The difference between X-Wing and Warhammer 40K is that Warhammer 40K is far more complex, more expensive, and, well, doesn’t have R2D2. But there’s more to 40K than just the game. You can be more creative with how you paint and present your army, and turn it into something unique that you can be proud of, unlike those ugly TIE Fighters that all look the same. With X-Wing, there’s still room for creativity, but the models come pre-painted. Some people paint their models, but it’s not nearly as common.

X-Wing made tabletop wargaming more entertaining for me because it was easier to pick up the rules. It also helped me understand Warhammer 40K a lot more, so now I can enjoy both! If any of you guys out there wanna try and get your girlfriends into tabletop wargaming, I suggest starting off with X-Wing first. And ladies, listen up! Wargaming isn’t just for guys! After about two weeks of playing the game, I defeat my boyfriend’s models as often as he defeats mine!

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Now, I suggest you go out and give X-Wing a try! Right meow! Once you’re addicted, we can all team up at the Plains of War events at Reset on the first Tuesday of every month at 5:30 PM. Bring everything you need to play, and we can take out all the Imperials in the galaxy together!  They also have Warhammer 40K going on too, at open tables! Thanks, Plains of War!

See you guys March 1st!

Kate Fitz is the Merchandising Team Lead for AYBOnline and AYBOnline.com. Her opinions are her own.

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